B-128759, AUGUST 24, 1956, 36 COMP. GEN. 163

B-128759: Aug 24, 1956

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WHOSE WAGES ARE FIXED PURSUANT TO THE KIESS ACT. A WORKWEEK OF LESS THAN 40 HOURS MAY NOT BE ESTABLISHED FOR EMPLOYEES IN THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949. WHEREIN HE CONCLUDED THAT THE PUBLIC PRINTER HAS AUTHORITY TO NEGOTIATE A REGULAR WORKWEEK OF LESS THAN 40 HOURS FOR THOSE EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED UNDER THE KIESS ACT. YOUR FIRST TWO QUESTIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS: 1. WHOSE WAGES ARE FIXED BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE PUBLIC PRINTER UNDER THE KIESS ACT. THE COMPENSATION OF THE EMPLOYEES REFERRED TO IN THESE QUESTIONS IS ESTABLISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 7.

B-128759, AUGUST 24, 1956, 36 COMP. GEN. 163

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE EMPLOYEES - WORKWEEK OF LESS THAN 40 HOURS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A WORKWEEK OF LESS THAN 40 HOURS FOR ALL GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE EMPLOYEES, WHOSE WAGES ARE FIXED PURSUANT TO THE KIESS ACT, 44 U.S.C. 40, AND THE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME FOR ANY HOURS OF WORK IN EXCESS OF THE SHORTER WORKWEEK MAY BE ACCOMPLISHED BY THE PUBLIC PRINTER UNDER SAID ACT. IN THE ABSENCE OF AN EXPRESS AUTHORIZATION BY CONGRESS, A WORKWEEK OF LESS THAN 40 HOURS MAY NOT BE ESTABLISHED FOR EMPLOYEES IN THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949.

TO THE PUBLIC PRINTER, U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, AUGUST 24, 1956:

YOUR LETTER OF JULY 27, 1956, REQUESTS OUR DECISION UPON CERTAIN QUESTIONS CONCERNING YOUR AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH A WORKWEEK OF LESS THAN 40 HOURS FOR EMPLOYEES IN THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE. YOU FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER A COPY OF AN OPINION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DATED JULY 3, 1956, WHEREIN HE CONCLUDED THAT THE PUBLIC PRINTER HAS AUTHORITY TO NEGOTIATE A REGULAR WORKWEEK OF LESS THAN 40 HOURS FOR THOSE EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED UNDER THE KIESS ACT, APPROVED JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 658, 44 U.S.C. 40, THROUGH CONFERENCES WITH THE VARIOUS TRADES AND UPON THE APPROVAL OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING.

YOUR FIRST TWO QUESTIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

1. IF A WORKWEEK OF LESS THAN 40 HOURS SHOULD BE AGREED UPON BY THE PUBLIC PRINTER AND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE RECOGNIZED TRADES WHICH CONFER UNDER PROVISIONS OF THE KIESS ACT, AND BE APPROVED BY THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING, WOULD THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE INTERPOSE ANY OBJECTION TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THIS SHORTER WORKWEEK, OR TO THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION AT OVERTIME RATES FOR ALL HOURS IN EXCESS OF THE SHORTER WORKWEEK?

2. IF THE PUBLIC PRINTER SHOULD ESTABLISH A SHORTER WORKWEEK FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WHO DO NOT FALL WITHIN THE CONFERENCE PROCEDURE OF THE KIESS ACT, BUT WHOSE WAGES ARE FIXED BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE PUBLIC PRINTER UNDER THE KIESS ACT, WOULD THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE INTERPOSE ANY OBJECTIONS TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THIS SHORTER WORKWEEK, OR TO THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION AT OVERTIME RATES FOR ALL HOURS IN EXCESS OF THE SHORTER WORKWEEK?

THE COMPENSATION OF THE EMPLOYEES REFERRED TO IN THESE QUESTIONS IS ESTABLISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 658, 44 U.S.C. 40, AS FOLLOWS:

THAT ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1924, THE PUBLIC PRINTER MAY EMPLOY, AT SUCH RATES OF WAGES AND SALARIES, INCLUDING COMPENSATION FOR NIGHT AND OVERTIME WORK, AS HE MAY DEEM FOR THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT AND JUST TO THE PERSONS EMPLOYED, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED HEREIN, SUCH JOURNEYMEN, APPRENTICES, LABORERS, AND OTHER PERSONS AS MAY BE NECESSARY FOR THE WORK OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE; BUT HE SHALL NOT, AT ANY TIME, EMPLOY MORE PERSONS THAN THE NECESSITIES OF THE PUBLIC WORK MAY REQUIRE OR MORE THAN TWO HUNDRED APPRENTICES AT ANY ONE TIME: PROVIDED, THAT ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1924, THE MINIMUM PAY OF ALL JOURNEYMEN PRINTERS, PRESSMEN, AND BOOKBINDERS EMPLOYED IN THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE SHALL BE AT THE RATE OF 90 CENTS AN HOUR FOR THE TIME ACTUALLY EMPLOYED: PROVIDED FURTHER, 10THAT EXCEPT AS HEREINBEFORE PROVIDED, THE RATES OF WAGES, INCLUDING COMPENSATION FOR NIGHT AND OVERTIME WORK, FOR MORE THAN TEN EMPLOYEES OF THE SAME OCCUPATION SHALL BE DETERMINED BY A CONFERENCE BETWEEN THE PUBLIC PRINTER AND A COMMITTEE SELECTED BY THE TRADES AFFECTED, AND THE RATES AND COMPENSATION SO AGREED UPON SHALL BECOME EFFECTIVE UPON APPROVAL BY THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING; IF THE PUBLIC PRINTER AND THE COMMITTEE REPRESENTING ANY TRADE FAIL TO AGREE AS TO WAGES, SALARIES, AND COMPENSATION EITHER PARTY IS HEREBY GRANTED THE RIGHT OF APPEAL TO THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING, AND THE DECISION OF SAID COMMITTEE SHALL BE FINAL; THE WAGES, SALARIES, AND COMPENSATION DETERMINED AS PROVIDED HEREIN SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE OFTENER THAN ONCE A YEAR THEREAFTER: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT EMPLOYEES AND OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, UNLESS OTHERWISE HEREIN FIXED, SHALL CONTINUE TO BE PAID AT THE RATES OF WAGES, SALARIES, AND COMPENSATION (INCLUDING NIGHT RATE) NOW AUTHORIZED BY LAW UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THEIR WAGES, SALARIES, AND COMPENSATION SHALL BE DETERMINED AS HEREINBEFORE PROVIDED.

THE QUOTED SECTION PRESCRIBES NO MINIMUM WORKWEEK FOR EMPLOYEES TO WHOM IT APPLIES AND NEITHER DOES IT CONTAIN ANY SPECIFIC LANGUAGE EITHER REQUIRING OR AUTHORIZING THE FIXING OF A WORKWEEK FOR EMPLOYEES COMPENSATED UNDER ITS PROVISIONS. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE BROAD AUTHORITY GRANTED BY THE SECTION TO ESTABLISH "RATES OF WAGES AND SALARIES, INCLUDING COMPENSATION FOR NIGHT AND OVERTIME WORK," IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THE AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH A BASIC WORKWEEK FOR EMPLOYEES SUBJECT TO ITS PROVISIONS NECESSARILY IS IMPLIED. WE HAVE HELD THAT THE REGULAR WEEKLY HOURS OF LABOR PROVISIONS OF SECTION 23 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 522, 5 U.S.C. 673C, ARE APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WHOSE COMPENSATION IS ESTABLISHED UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924 (13 COMP. GEN. 265). CONCERNING THE APPLICABILITY OF THE OVERTIME PROVISION OF SECTION 23 TO THE EMPLOYEES HERE INVOLVED SEE 13 ID. 265 AND 34 ID. 512. SECTION 23 MERELY PROVIDES, HOWEVER, THAT THE REGULAR HOURS OF WORK OF EMPLOYEES TO WHOM IT APPLIES SHALL BE NO MORE THAN 40 HOURS PER WEEK AND THAT ALL OVERTIME SHALL BE COMPENSATED FOR AT NOT LESS THAN TIME AND ONE-HALF. NEITHER THAT SECTION NOR ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW WHICH HAS COME TO OUR ATTENTION PRECLUDES THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A REGULAR WORKWEEK OF LESS THAN 40 HOURS FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WHOSE COMPENSATION IS ESTABLISHED UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, OR FOR PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR WORK IN EXCESS OF SUCH REGULAR WORKWEEK AS MAY BE ESTABLISHED. HENCE, THE 1924 ACT/IS VIEWED NOT ONLY AS AUTHORITY FOR THE FIXING OF A REGULAR WORKWEEK OF LESS THAN 40 HOURS FOR EMPLOYEES WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED UNDER ITS PROVISIONS BUT ALSO FOR THE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR ALL WORK IN EXCESS OF SUCH REGULAR WORKWEEK--- CONSISTING OF LESS THAN 40 HOURS--- THAT MAY BE ESTABLISHED UNDER ITS PROVISIONS. YOUR FIRST TWO QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

3. FOR THOSE EMPLOYEES IN THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS, WHOSE RATES OF PAY ARE ESTABLISHED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, WOULD THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE INTERPOSE ANY OBJECTION TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A SHORTER WORKWEEK BY THE PUBLIC PRINTER, AND THE PAYMENT OF THE SAME ANNUAL RATES OF PAY FOR THE SHORTER WORKWEEK, AND OVERTIME RATES FOR ALL HOURS IN EXCESS OF THE SHORTER WORKWEEK SO ESTABLISHED?

SECTION 604 (A) OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, 59 STAT. 303, 5 U.S.C. 944, PROVIDES FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT BY THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT OF A BASIC ADMINISTRATIVE WORKWEEK OF 40 HOURS. IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED THAT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE IS UNDER THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT. SEE 29 COMP. GEN. 388. THEREFORE, THE VIEW MIGHT BE ADOPTED THAT, SINCE SECTION 604 (A) APPLIES ONLY TO DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, THE PUBLIC PRINTER MAY FIX THE BASIC WORKWEEK OF THE EMPLOYEES IN THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS HERE INVOLVED AT LESS THAN 40 HOURS. HOWEVER, WE DO NOT CONCEIVE IT TO HAVE BEEN THE INTENT OF THE CONGRESS IN ENACTING SECTION 604 (A) THAT CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OCCUPYING POSITIONS UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 1071, ET SEQ., AND PAID IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PAY STATUTES APPLICABLE TO POSITIONS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THAT ACT SHOULD RECEIVE THEIR ANNUAL STATUTORY SALARY FOR WORKING LESS TIME THAN THE GREAT BULK OF EMPLOYEES OCCUPYING POSITIONS SUBJECT OT THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. IN THE ABSENCE OF A CLEAR INDICATION THAT SUCH WAS THE INTENTION OF CONGRESS IN ENACTING SECTION 604 (A/--- AND WE HAVE FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF SUCH AN INTENTION EITHER IN THE WORDING OF THE STATUTE OR IN ITS LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--- WE CONSIDER IT REASONABLE TO REQUIRE AN EXPRESS AUTHORIZATION OF THE CONGRESS BEFORE APPROVING YOUR FIXING OF A BASIC WORKWEEK OF LESS THAN 40 HOURS FOR EMPLOYEES IN THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS WHOSE RATES OF PAY ARE SET IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949. YOUR FINAL QUESTION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.